Posts Tagged ‘cracked teeth’

Healing an Injured Tooth

The method of treatment varies from injury to injury and depends on the severity of the damage done. Most injuries are caused by accidents that happen quickly. Major injuries are fairly noticeable because of the bleeding, pain, or visible cracks or chips in the tooth — or maybe it has been knocked out completely. Minor injuries may not be as noticeable at first, but are just as harmful to the tooth. For example, a small crack may occur nearer to the root than the crown and cause damage to the dentin, nerve, pulp, and blood flow to that tooth. Someone may choose to ignore the pain if it is minor enough. But when the tooth starts turning gray or black because it has “died,” then it is probably too late to salvage. If the person had had the tooth closely examined and x-rayed by a dentist, he probably would have been able to avoid the slow decay.

When there is damage to the tooth’s structure, besides preserving what natural structure we can, of equal priority is to protect it from further damage. Ozone gas, of course, works wonderfully for crawling into the microscopic cracks and crannies (whether old or new), completely sterilizing everything inside and out, halting any further decay or infection, and providing an ideal site for strong repairs and healing.

A dental laser is also a useful tool when repairing injured teeth. The laser can be used doubly for sterilization and cleaning out dead tissues that may have accumulated. Shaping soft tissues (gums) and speeding up healing are more of the laser’s useful benefits. To repair cracks and chips, laser- or light-cured composite may be used, and they are much stronger, far less risky, healthier, and better-looking than amalgam. For structure damage, whether caused by poor hygiene/diet or injury, laser-cured composite actually bonds to the tooth itself unlike the silver-mercury amalgam, which will likely crack and separate because of its non-biocompatibility and sensitivity to temperature changes.*

Dr. Sperbeck, West Los Angeles

http://www.dds4smiles.com

*In other words, don’t consume hot things and cold things simultaneously. That’s one fast way to spring cracks and leaks in your amalgam fillings. While you’re at it, make an appointment to just get them replaced completely. It’s bad to keep mercury in your body.

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Occlusal Correction: Selective Reshaping of Teeth

This is probably the first solution one might think of when wondering how a malocclusion will be corrected. The teeth are grinding together, so just move them around so they don’t. Right?

Well, I think we’ve learned that it’s a little bit more complex than that; but in some cases, the solution is as “simple” as moving teeth around. If the jaw, surrounding muscles and tissues, and everything else seems to be functioning well, selective reshaping can take place, and your teeth will fit together correctly when you bite down. This will halt and prevent further wear-and-tear on teeth that are perhaps showing signs of cracking, wearing, chipping, or breaking.

Dr. Sperbeck, West Los Angeles

http://www.dds4smiles.com

Cosmetic Dentistry That Lasts

Cosmetic dentistry is the artsy part of dentistry — where we get to give your teeth makeovers. But cosmetic dentistry is more than just making your teeth look good on the outside. The beauty must go further than skin deep (er… enamel-deep…?). What if a crown or restoration conflicts with the way the opposing teeth bite against it? That seems like an obvious problem, but if you are not aware of how much a tiny adjustment can impact your entire jaw/head, then it is, in fact, an issue that must be approached with special care and consideration.

In most cases, though, it will be the restoration that shows signs of deterioration first. Cracking, chipping, even falling off altogether… and this may harm whatever natural tooth or tissues are bonded to this restoration. Pankey takes great care in training its dentists to take careful measures to ensure cosmetic improvements will also be functional and long-lasting. A little extra time and effort may go into forming a nicely fitted restoration, but the longterm benefits outweigh the initial installation process.

Perfectly colored or straight-looking teeth are only the tip of the iceberg!

Dr. Sperbeck, West Los Angeles

http://www.dds4smiles.com

Bioesthetic Dentistry

(Taken from my website:)

“Bioesthetic dentistry takes the remedial treatment of each tooth to the comprehensive treatment of the entire body. Our diagnosis methodologies show us why you have broken down or worn teeth, and allow you to regain the length, shape and appearance of your teeth, before they became worn or broken down.

“Based on the natural biologic form, Bioesthetic Dentistry works by arranging the teeth to function together with the alignment of the Temporo-Mandibular Joint (TMJ). Recognized world-wide as the “non-surgical face lift”, bioesthetic dentistry affects the eyes, facial muscle posture and overall facial form. The final result is a naturally beautiful smile.

“If you have any of the common complaints listed below, Bioesthetic Dentistry may be what you need.

Migraines
Jaw popping
Worn or cracked teeth
Jaw pain
Unsightly smile
Limited opening of the mouth with restricted range of motion
Unable to chew food properly
Poor digestion
Gum disease with recession of the gums
Sensitive teeth
Tired-looking or -feeling jaw”

Dr. Sperbeck, West Los Angeles

http://www.dds4smiles.com

A TMJ Day

It never ceases to amaze me how my TMJ (Temporal Mandibular Joint) experience comes in handy on a daily basis. About half of my practice is devoted to TMJ treatment so I am always thinking about solving TMJ problems or managing bruxing (grinding of teeth) habits. Patients frequently come in with broken and cracked teeth, and maybe some irregular, strange pain that comes and goes on its own whims. Well, knowing how the TMJ joint works with all the muscles, discs, etc., I can use this knowledge to help determine if those phantom pain symptoms are for an undiagnosed TMJ.

Sometimes a tooth will break because of TMJ, yet anyone might think it was caused by something completely different. The knowledge is best practically utilized in how I repair teeth. Through experience of solving TMJ problems, I know how teeth are supposed to hit when you bite down. This is extremely valuable, because if I were to place a crown or filling in the mouth and it did not hit the opposing tooth correctly, I could have inadvertently caused a TMJ problem for the patient. Yes, you heard right. In my opinion, small mistakes in general dentistry gradually snowball into large TMJ problems.

There is a principle called the DUML rule that I follow religiously. DUML stands for the Distal of Uppers and the Mesial of Lowers. This translates into avoiding bad contact points between teeth that can contribute to TMJ. When I solve TMJ problems, I make sure that I do not have those contacts on the teeth.

These incorrect points are like sitting next to a car booming with ear-grating rap music at an especially long red light. Is there even such a thing as good rap music? I am revealing my age now…

Dr. Sperbeck, West Los Angeles

http://www.dds4smiles.com